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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  March 25, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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move your xfinity services without breaking a sweat. xfinity makes moving easy. go online to transfer your services in about a minute. get started today. top of the hour, i'm kate bolduan, thank you so much for being here and a little more than one hour president biden will hold his first news conference since entering the white house more than two months ago and with the administration facing a host of challenges the stakes are very high. biden is holding his first formal white house news conference later in his term than any of the last 15 presidents. that's according to a cnn analysis, and that has been a point of criticism for the administration. president biden's expected to highlight his administration's efforts in battling back the
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pandemic, that includes now announcing a new vaccination goal of 200 million doses administered to americans within the first 100 days in office. but he's also going to be facing a barrage of questions on a wide range of other issues, pressing issues facing the country right now. the economy in recovery, immigration, gun reform. the senate filibuster, even, and foreign policy challenges ranging from china to russia to afghanistan. add to that now, new cnn reporting that joe biden may have some new challenges in getting his agenda through congress and it may be coming from within his own party. let's get over to capitol hill, joining me right now is cnn's manu raju as well as cnn's lauren fox. manu, what are you going learning? >> reporter: the challenges are beyond just one democratic senator joe manchin, a conservative west virginia democrat, a thorn in the side of progressives in particular but in speaking to a number of democrats up and down the caucus
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it's clear there's not uniformity on key issues, ex-panning background checks, on gun sales, whether it's about raising the federal minimum wage or about getting the senate's filibuster rules. that is central to all of this because in order to pass legislation through the senate you need to have 60 votes to overcome a filibuster right now and there is a major push on the left to try to get rid of the filibuster, essentially just allow a simple majority of 51 senators to move ahead, which would be possible if they were to do that in the 50/50 senate with kamala harris coming in and breaking the tie but they need total democratic unity in order to move forward with any filibuster rules changes. and beyond just joe manchin there are others as well. the two new hampshire democratic senators both have reservations about changing the filibuster. this is what jeanne shaheen, who is a new hampshire senator told me yesterday, she says no she does not support reducing the 60
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vote threshold. chuck schumer the senate democratic leader has to look at how to proceed. democrats on his side on that and he also wants to move forward on a gun bill, but that does not have 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. and he still has to get his democratic caucus in line. now, i just had the chance to ask chuck schumer about the calls to get rid of the filibuster, and his past use of it when he was in the senate minority. >> we were always willing to negotiate in a bipartisan way. mitch mcconnell isn't. the bills he puts on the floor, even when he calls them bipartisan, aren't. like the first cares bill. like the policing bill. there's no discussion. no discussion. we are sitting down. i am encouraging my colleagues to sit down with republicans and move forward. there's a big difference in how
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we're conducting things and the way they're conducting things. >> now, that is not exactly the case how they're moving ahead, on guns they're trying to move forward and push forward a bill that's not being negotiated with republicans right now and the sweeping voting rights pack that's not being negotiated by republicans right now. i asked schumer to follow up. he did not take that follow up question and the big question, infrastructure. they may try to do that on democratic support alone. >> how far they can go with it then. lauren, this could all have a major impact on any attempts at getting anything done on gun reform, right? >> that's exactly right, kate. i talked to a number of democratic members who told the they were still trying to understand exactly what the house bill did and that they weren't necessarily on board yet. that is exactly what senator gary peters and senator jon tester both told me in interviews yesterday. i also am hearing from members who have concerns about that
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infrastructure package. one thing that you noted is the price tag of this infrastructure package. how much of that will be paid for, how will the democrats agree or not agree to pay for it? remember, this is a narrow senate majority. there is no room for error. so yes, senator joe manchin is, perhaps, one of the loudest members in the democratic caucus when he has concerns. that doesn't mean host he's the only one. he's just the tip of the iceberg depending what issue we're talking about. >> that's a great way of putting it. joe manchin might be the tip of the iceberg, not the whole iceberg when it comes to what it means to have a narrow senate majority. great reporting, guys, thank you so much. let me get back now to president biden's first news conference, which is now just over an hour away. joining me for more is cnn's jeff zeleny at the white house. jeff, i'm wondering if folks at the white house need to start thinking about the dmmtic majority in the senate right now after manu and lauren's reporting. but talk to me about what today means for joe biden.
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>> kate, that is something that president biden certainly thinks about every single day, and let him count the ways. it is such a narrow majority. every piece of the agenda has to be seen through the light of can we get at least 50 democratic votes, not just joe manchin but also kyrsten sinema. but as for the press conference today there are several audiences here that president biden has in mind as he embarks on his first press conference of his first term in office and the senate is certainly one of them. up until now the white house has been relatively successful in threading the needle and keeping, you know, the big tent of the democratic party together, progressives on the left, and moderates as well. that is a challenge that will intensify as the weeks go ahead. as he moves into other agenda items. but there are so many issues on his plate, really they're multiplying as they do for all presidents and the test of a
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president, a modern day president is how they react to events that happened in realtime. immigration's certainly one of those, gun reform is something that a week ago was not necessarily on the front and center on the agenda here but those will be two issues certainly he will talk about. but other big issues are stacking up, like his decision on afghanistan. he, of course, has long held views on, you know, the u.s. has overstayed its welcome in afghanistan but as commander in chief will he make the decision in the coming days to withdraw those troops. he could give a window into that this afternoon as well as immigration. of course it was so interesting, kate, yesterday watching him assign vice president kamala harris her first big portfolio item leading the diplomatic efforts in central america as well as the efforts on the border. he had that exact role in 2014 and 2015, and we see what happens. that is a very difficult job. so what he's going to do at the press conference today, of course, is answer all of these. but give a way forward on some
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issues that he is very well steeped in. but kate, for all of joe biden's time in washington, he's asked more questions, both as a senator and a vice president, in briefings and committee hearings than he has actually stood alone and taken questions. so this is a very, you know, a uniform thing a president only does is have this solo news conference. it's one of the first times we'll see him in that setting in the east room in the next hour, kate. >> that's right, jeff, stick with me if you would. joining us is abby philip. abby, what do you see as kind of at stake, or what's your biggest question going into this press conference? ahead of joe biden's big moment. >> i think today is all about priorities, priorities, priorities. where is joe biden's head at when it comes to what comes next for his agenda? as you heard jeff lay out, there are a lot of things that joe biden maybe wants to do, that progressives want him to do, that moderates want him to do but not all of them are going to
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be able to be done at the same time. and how he orders his to do list is going to be, i think, the big thing that comes out of this press conference today and how he manages the expectations that are coming at him from all sides. what we've seen from biden, i think, over the last, you know, particularly the last year, going from the campaign into his presidency, is that he wants to tamp down, you know, the kind of wild passions of washington so to speak and keep things on a really even keel but there are issues on the table now that democrats feel very strongly about. guns are one of them, voting rights are another. these are things that i think are at the core of democratic party beliefs, he's got to speak to that, speak to the sense of urgency but there is a strain of realism that i think this white house has always tried to veer toward about what is actually
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possible and we don't know how he's going to put that to do list together but that's, i think, what reporters will be trying to get out of him today. >> you have to harness those wild passions as well in order to get anything done. i don't know why i find that such a perfect thing to say right now. abby, apologies. jeff, kind of jumping off of what you -- where you left off, "the washington post," ashley parker and sean sullivan, had a good quote from rahm emanuel about how much has happened kind of since this press conference was announced. let me read what emanuel told them. raum said that's the presidency. you can have the best raid plans but it doesn't matter when you go to toe with reality, a white house earns its stripes by taking every challenge and turning it into an opportunity to address an issue and move the ball forward. what does that mean for joe biden in this moment is this. >> that was rahm emanuel the
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former chief of staff in the earl years of the obama white house. he always talked about seizing on the opportunity. so what that means now probably first and foremost is the opportunity of trying to get some action on guns. and an interesting thing to watch today is how the president specifically talks about the differences now versus when he was leading that effort in 2013. there are many differences. the country has moved on this in some respects. the gun lobby is divided and weakened. but the reality is, the opposition still remains, even to universal background checks. i think guns is an opportunity to seize upon the urgency of that, that is out in the country. immigration is another matter that this was not necessarily going to be first and foremost on the president's agenda, now it certainly is. but i think also the economic news that this white house is experiencing really in the last 60 days, and going forward at least in the forecast is certainly a different opportunity for this president
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than the obama administration. we make many comparisons to 12 years ago. this cannot be said enough, that the biden presidency is entering an economy on the upswing. the obama administration was entering an economy on the downswing, still very much deep. and this is something that the president can seize upon, that's why he is proposing this massive spending effort on infrastructure, and many other issues. his build back better programs, this is something that he believes there is a moment for, largely because the economy is on the upswing from its crisis, not just at the beginning of it. so that is a big opportunity that this president will certainly try and seize upon. >> and looking overseas as well, abby, i mean the last time that joe biden spoke to a reporter he called putin a killer and that ignited a new round of tension with russia. and then you had the secretary of state at the very same time kind of going head to head with china last week. i'm wondering kind of, do you think this is an opportunity
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where the president will try to calm things down, which is something that joe biden tries to do, or do you think that they see more benefit in continuing to ratchet it up when it comes to these crises overseas? >> yeah, it's a really good question whether in the context of this kind of press conference whether joe biden will double down. i mean, i do think that confronting russia and china are both important strategic priorities for this administration. and it's both rhetorical but it's also trying to set the table for where the u.s. wants to position itself in negotiations rather than sort of coming to the table with russia as if -- i think over the last several years whenever former president donald trump talked about russia it was always in a conciliatory fashion even while his administration might have done other things. they want to flip that script
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and turn it around. we'll see if joe biden doubles down on that. but biden, i think, has challenged sometimes is that he is not always consistent with his language and can make verbal flubs, can make gaffes. and so whether he executes that today in a way that is in line with this administration's policy i think is still an open question. >> we do know that it will be a marked difference and change in tone when asked about russia, what this president will say in his first press conference versus what his predecessor said throughout his presidency, and in his first press conference with the press. it's good to see you both. thanks, guys. still ahead for us the suspect in the colorado mass shooting making his first appearance from a wheelchair in court just this morning. up next, what we're learning about the charges he is facing and what you could expect from his defense. ask later, an encouraging new study showing some newborns are already benefiting from the coronavirus vaccine. more on the effects pregnant women who have received their shots are seeing.
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breaking news, the suspect in the mass shooting at the king soopers grocery store in boulder has his first appearance in court. we got this moments ago from inside the courtroom. the suspect faces ten counts of first degree murder. the mayor of boulder joined us moments after this appearance, just as this video is really coming in and he talked about the community's grief. they're grieving. and what's ahead. >> i think, you know, milestone for our community will be when that grocery store opens back up to the public. that's something that, for me, will represent, you know, the start of the return to a calmer civic life. once that's open i think we have to start looking at what we do as a memorial. >> cnn's shimon prokupecz is in boulder for us. can you walk us through what
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happened in court? >> it was a fairly brief appearance. we did expect it to be lengthy. that's what the da's office said they thought it would be. but it didn't go on for quite as long as we expected. as you saw in the video, the alleged gunman is in a wheelchair. he had suffered a bullet injury, a bullet wound to his leg during the shooting. so perhaps that's why he's in this wheelchair. he didn't say much. notably the defense attorneys, they're already kind of indicating the direction in which their defense is going to go, perhaps some kind of insanity defense. what they said was that in order to continue to proceed with the case they need some more time to review his records and information about some unspecified mental illness. of course we've heard from the brother, cnn has talked to the gunman's brother who said that he had been suffering from mental illness. so that is certainly some indication that that is the
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route these attorneys are going to go. and also notably one of the attorneys that was in court representing him, he was given public defenders, represented the aurora shooter in that case, which was also a mass shooting here. but also which was part of their -- part of their defense was an insanity defense. so that is very clear, that is the direction they're heading in in this case. we also learned some new information from an affidavit, court documents that prosecutors release. they added an additional charge of attempted murder, where an officer says that the gunman shot at him. he was moving left to right. he missed the officer. so the district attorney here charging him with that attempted murder charge. they also say this case is going to take quite some time. prosecutors are still processing the crime scene, still gathering information. so this is going to take quite some time before we see this go to trial.
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also other information that we've learned from talking to law enforcement officials is that they're trying to determine why the shooter chose this grocery store specifically. it's some 30 minutes from his home. they're trying to decide if he had some kind of connection. and obviously they're talking to family members, and other people who knew the gunman, to try and get a picture leading up into the days when he unleashed this attack, kate. >> shimon, thank you so much. joining me right now is charles ramsey, cnn law enforcement analyst and former police chief of d.c. good to see you, chief. i was just looking at the da in boulder. he just said that this hearing is the beginning of a lengthy process that i anticipate will take at least a year to try to completion. this is going to be a long -- this is a long road ahead. >> it is a long road ahead but that's typical with court cases. i mean, they do not move fast through the court system.
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and there's still a lot of work that has to be done. they don't have a motive. there are still questions as to why there, why did he choose that store? they're carefully going through all the evidence that they have. we know now that there will more than likely be an insanity defense. part of what they're doing is trying to find evidence of pre-ma pre-planning on his part. anything that would show that his mental state was such that at the time he commit it had crime he was aware of what he was doing and he knew right from wrong and so forth. that's all part of what's taking place right now. in addition to that, of course, they may still be actually processing the crime scene. i don't know if they've released it or not. but it will be some time before that store can reopen, obviously. so there's still an awful lot of work. there's an awful lot of grieving that has to take place. you have ten families that are planning funerals right now, and so this is a difficult time for the city of boulder. >> yeah, the mayor was on with us last hour and he said that they have not yet released the
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crime scene. they are still processing. that king soopers. as you're talking about grieving the community is facing i want to play for you something that one person who was at the memorial that has kind of been built up around the king soopers, what they said yesterday. >> how many more have to die? how many more? officers have to face down a madman with a gun. >> and the last thing she said right there, chief, it's not just a madman with a gun, it is police having to face a man with an assault weapon. what does that amount of fire power mean for police who are responding to a scene and trying to save people's lives? >> well, i mean, those kinds of weapons are absolutely devastating. you can tell just from the number of people killed in the store. i mean, there were no wounded. if you got shot, you died. i mean, that's the devastation
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that weapons of that type can bring. but it's not only the police that face that threat. it's the everyday citizen. i mean, you don't go to crime scenes anymore where there's only one shell casing laying on the ground. it's not uncommon to have 30 or 40 shell casings which means that's how many shots were fired from these kinds of weapons and bullets can go anywhere and they rip right through the body and many people literally bleed out before they get to a trauma center. it was so bad in philadelphia we have something called scoop and run. police don't wait for the ambulance. they put the person right in the backseat of the car and get them straight to the trauma center so they can at least have a chance of surviving. from multiple gunshot wounds. it is incredibly devastating, not just for police to have to face it but just for people in general that have to deal with this. there's no reason for those kinds of weapons to be available on the streets for citizens. there's just need for it. >> that is just horrible to hear, that even if you have an
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informal policy in place, chief, of what your officers are facing in philly. i want to play for you something also that officer talley's sister said about her brother. she was speaking to cbs. >> he loved being a police officer. he's like, it's not my job that's unsafe, kirsten, he said it's people, and he said that, you know, he said it's not a bad job. there's a lot more good. he was moving towards working as a drone operator because he talked about the violence in the world. we had a conversation about that recently and he's like, yeah, it just seems to be getting worse and he said i would never want to put my family through losing me as their dad or their husband. >> i mean, that is just gut wrenching, chief. what do you do with that? >> well, i mean, it is gut
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bren br wrenching. he's right for the most part. police are able to function and even though there are hazards that for the most part you're dealing not with the kind of violence that unfortunately officer talley had to deal with a couple days ago but it can turn very violent very quickly and that's something that police officers and more importantly their families have to live with every single day. i mean, police know what kind of risks they're taking. it's the families that you really have to be mostly concerned about, because they aren't always aware of some of the things that you do during the course of a tour of duty and you don't want to tell them because you don't want to have them worrying but unfortunately it can turn to tragedy. eight years i spent as commissioner in philadelphia, eight officers killed in the line of duty. five shot to death. three responding to calls in traffic accidents. it's tough, it's very tough, especially on the families and also the men and women of the department. they're grieving right now too. and that's why this honors funeral, and all the ceremony that you see around officer talley right now, it shows the
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respect for the sacrifice and the service that he gave to the city but it's also a form of grieving, a way of grieving for the officers too, that lost a person that they loved as well. >> yeah. chief, thanks for coming in. >> quite all right. still ahead for us, president biden, he's expected to announce a new ambitious vaccination goal in the next hour. just as the cdc is warning that it needs people to keep their guard up as the country prepares for spring holidays and more travel. see, visib is wireless with no surprise fees, legit unlimited data, powereby verizon for as littlas $25 a month. but when you bring a friend every month, you get every month for $5. so i'm bringing everyone within 12 degrees of me. bam, 12 months of $5 wireless. visible. as little as $25 a month. or $5 a month when you bring a friend. powered by verizon.
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this just in to cnn pfizer and biontech says it has begun its vaccine trial on young children ages 6 months to 11 years old. phase 1 of the trial they're announcing will focus on finding the right dosage for these ages. phase 2 and phase 3 will then focus on safety and tolerablity. it's expected to announce a brand new goal of 200 vaccine doses administered in his first 100 days in office. to be clear the new goal is already something that the u.s. was on pace to meet. that's what the math tells you. the country hit the original goal of 100 million shots in arms in the last week.
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we're also learning that biden will dedicate $10 billion to expanding vaccine eligibility and building confidence in the vaccines. we should learn more -- hear more about this in less than an hour when president biden holds his first news conference. since taking office. joining me right now for more on this is cnn medical analyst dr. celine gounder. how significant is this announcement from pfizer and biontech, with the first doses administered in this trial of young children. >> kate, as we know in order to achieve real herd immunity in the population we are going to have to vaccinate children and while children have not been those who've had the most severe cases of covid there have been these occasional very severe cases which have frightened a lot of parents. and they do, you know, are important in terms of the propagation of the virus. i think this is very good news that they're starting the phase
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1 trial. but it will be probably well into 2022 before we see the youngest of children being vaccinated. >> yeah. on the question that everyone seems to be asking of kind of where are we in this pandemic i want to play for you how dr. fauci is now describing it. >> i'm often asked, are we turning the corner? my response is really more like we are at the corner, whether or not we're going to be turning that corner still remains to be seen. >> what does that mean for all of us right now, dr. gounder? >> i sort of think about this to give you another analogy, like pulling your car into the garage, and the pedal -- the brake pedal is sort of like the masks and the social distancing we've been doing for months and putting your car -- putting on the parking brake is what you accomplish by getting enough people vaccinated. what we're doing right now is we're pulling into the garage,
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taking our foot off the brake, we're not yet in park. and we're hitting the accelerator with what we've seen with people really relaxing on the mitigation measures, the masking, the social distancing with a lot of the travel that happened over spring break. so, you know, we are at this corner like dr. fauci says the real concern is, are we turning a corner into another surge or not? >> yeah, and on the states loosening up restrictions thinking something you have been really been speaking up about. tell me why. >> well, in new york, for example, you know, and this is not a red state blue state thing, this is all states. we are seeing many governors lifting social distancing restrictions, opening up businesses, here in new york we are reopening indoor dining, gyms, for example, large gatherings like weddings, and this is really dangerous at a time when some 20% to 30% of covid cases are related to -- or
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are caused by these more infectious variants like the uk variant. that variant has also been shown to be more deadly. and we really do need to be farther along in getting everybody vaccinated before we can relax on some of these things. it's not forever but we do need to give ourselves a little bit more time here. >> i last hour, my colleague natasha chen was reporting at a vaccine site in georgia where they've expanded vaccine eligibility and she said that they've actually -- there have actually been some people who have come in to get a vaccine, but because they weren't going to receive their preferred brand of vaccine they actually walked out and left. that seems a huge messaging problem. >> yeah. and i 100% agree with you on that. me and other members of the
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biden/harris transition covid advisory board published about a month ago now an op-ed in "usa today" on exactly this question and what we know from all of the clinical trials is that all three of the vaccines that have been authorized by the fda for use in this country so the pfizer, the moderna and the j&j vaccine, all three are 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death from covid and that's why we vaccinate, to prevent hospitalization and death. we don't vaccinate to prevent the sniffles. and that's really at that level that you do see some minor differences among these vaccines. but my message to you is the risk of getting sick with covid far outweighs any benefit you might get from waiting a little bit longer. >> it seems that message needs to be pressed more and more and louder and louder, if we're seeing people walking out of clinic to avoid, because they didn't get the right shot. well, the shot they wanted, if you will.
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thanks for coming in, doctor. taking a turn in europe eu leaders are meeting today to confront an apparent third wave of coronavirus that is setting in, in many countries. some leaders are blaming the rocky distribution of the astrazeneca vaccine as a contributing factor. joining me is cnn's fred pleitgen in berlin. the lockdown has been extended until april 18th. what are european leaders, think they're going to do to improve this? >> reporter: well, first of all, the only thing they have at their disposal is lockdowns, the vaccine is really in short supply here in europe. you're right, kate, one of the things they are saying, one of the companies they're criticizing is astrazeneca. so far at least with europe astrazeneca has not fulfilled the contract it's had with the european union, cutting back the doses it's going to be able to deliver, far less than was originally in the contracts and
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that's led the european union to say, look, they might impose some export restrictions on astrazeneca vaccines made in the european union to other countries, it's something that's led to a lot of issues with the united kingdom that's gotten some of those astrazeneca doses. the europeans, however, kate, are also saying, look, they made some mistakes as well. one quote from the french president emmanuel macron, he said we didn't shoot for the stars as much as others, i think that should be a lesson for all of us. we were wrong to lack ambition, to lack the madness to say it's possible, let's do it. of course the main country he singled out was the united states. he said the u.s. was much better and much more ambitious. of course president biden also set to speak at the eu summit tonight as well. >> fred, thank you very much. still ahead, critics call a bill on the state house bill, jim crow 2.0. more on the legislation that's up for a vote that could, if
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and with fast, nationwide 5g included - at no extra cost? we've got you covered. so join the carrier rated #1 in customer satisfaction... ...and learn how much you can save at xfinitymobile.com/mysavings. republicans in the georgia house are pushing through a sweeping bill to restrict voting access. this would move this effort one step closer to becoming law. but the pushback is very real. one voter access advocacy group fair fight action started by stacey abrams calls the bill in their view jim crow 2.0 and says those who think that's hyperbole need to read it.
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read the bill. dianne gallagher joins me now. what's going to happen here? what's in this bill? >> reporter: we're looking probably in the next minute or so the georgia state house, which is republican control, is going to vote on this bill. senate bill 202. i want to talk about what's in it right now as they get ready to vote. absentee voting would require forms of id, limiting drop boxes to inside early voting locations, means giving food and drinks to voters waiting in line a misdemeanor. unlimited challenges to voter registration eligibility and strips authority from the elected secretary of state, and grants state officials these broad powers over local election operations, including the ability to replace local election officials, and it also shortens the runoff period from nine weeks to just four weeks. we talked a lot about weekend voting. this does not eliminate weekend voting. it actually adds a second mandatory saturday and makes sunday voting optional.
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it does set hours, though. so some counties may see fewer hours of weekend early voting. kate, the question is, what happens next? we do expect it to pass. here in georgia today. at the state house. but it was originally a two-page bill when it came over from the senate. it's now a 90 plus page bill. so it's going to go back to the senate, they're likely going to go into conference with the house, decide what to keep, what to take out and then try and get it agreed upon, sent to the governor's desk before march 31st, which is the last day they can work on it before -- if they want to get it to the governor's desk this session. >> they're moving in that direction. that's for sure. diane, thank you very much, diane's watching this very closely for us with all the headlines. still ahead for us, president biden's about to face reporters for his first formal press conference since taking office. our special coverage is going to begin very shortly. this is a big moment for president biden. up next, his biggest challenge as he faces reporters minutes from now.
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if you smell gas, you're too close. leave the structure, call 911, keep people away, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. as we continue to return to classrooms... parents like me want to make sure we're doing it safely. especially in the underserved communities hardest hit by covid. trust me, no one wants to get back to classroom learning more than teachers like me. using common sense safety measures like masks, physical distancing, and proper ventilation. safety is why we're prioritizing vaccinations for educators. because together, we all have a responsibility to do our part. and together, we will get through this, safely. if you see wires down, treat them all as if they're hot and energized. stay away from any downed wire, call 911,
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and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. president biden is about to face reporters for the most extensive questioning he's faced since taking office. the first formal press conference for any new president is always a big deal. this president, though, is facing so many crises at once so early on in his time in office the stakes for president biden seem particularly high. while he's expected to tout his
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administration's success at ramping up covid vaccinations, he is going to face questions on the other major challenges that his administration is up against. joining me right now is cnn's kaitlan collins, she's at the white house. kaitlan, you're going to be in the seat for cnn, thanks for coming up to lawn to talk with me. there are so many questions he'll face. what's top of mind for you? >> reporter: there are so many things on his list right now. i am told he's been preparing extensively for this press conference as well. he understands what the spotlight is going to be just as well as anyone else. of course since they announced this about nine days ago when they first said he was going to do a press conference is when we really understood just how much there is going to be for him to talk about here, kate, because it's not just the kroifs pandemic and his handling of that which we do know he's expected to announce a new vaccination goal. but also what is happening on the southern border with immigration and two mass shootings in less than a week. the other thing that's hanging
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over that, is how he plans to get his agenda passed and what that's going to look like on capitol hill and of course whether or not his position has shifted at all on the filibuster. so a lot of questions for him, kate, and we will be in that room in a few moments. >> literally in just moments, thanks, kaitlan, good to see you. one of the issues the president will face is on the economy, jobs, economic recovery in the midst of covid. today we're getting a fresh report on what the country is facing on that front and what it looks like. christine romans has the details. >> reporter: kate, a sign things are getting better in the jobs market, another 684,000 people filed for the first time for state unemployment benefits last week, the smallest number since the pandemic began, however, for context, claims are still very high, higher than the worst we saw at the peak of the great recession. now, warmer weather is allowing for outdoor activities. s and vaccine rollout, that means fewer layoffs, but the overall numbers still historically large. between state benefits and
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pandemic emergency programs, almost a million people filed for the first time for aid. all together the government is paying more than 18.9 million people for jobless benefits. the hope is main street can turn the page, wall street did long ago. the bull market is the strongest since -- the nasdaq is up 75% in one year, people with money and resources profited over the last year, the jobs market is down 9.5 million jobs since february of last year, the percentage of women in the workforce dropped to a 33 year low, progress but from a deep hole. >> christine, thank you so much. and please stay with us, president biden's first formal press conference about to get under way. our special coverage, starts after a quick break. plants clean the air. when applied to stained textiles, plant-based surfactants like the ones in seventh generation detergent
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( crowd sounds on tv ) tonight...i'll be eating loaded tots for march madness. ( doorbell ) thanks boo. ( piano glissando ) i think you better double them tots. no, this me was last year. i didn't get my madness last year, so we're doing double the madness this year. you are a mess. everybody was a mess. whatever, you ready? i stay ready, so i don't have to get ready. ( clapping ) double the madness!
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this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone, i'm jake tapper, i want to welcome viewers here in the united states and around the world. this is cnn's special live coverage of president biden's first solo news conference since taking off -- office. it's scheduled to start in minutes from the white house east room. a white house official confirmed to cnn that president biden will announce a new covid vaccination goal. it will be 200 million shots delivered in arms within his first 100 days in office. that's double what he initially promised. the news marks a major

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